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With the possible delay of OTA activation along with bi-weekly updates and still many reported problems leads me to ask the following:

1) How long does D* have to get this box right before it really starts to cost them subs. I am not talking about one or two members here leaving for cable, but a measurable number of subs who never visit forums such as this drop D* due to the performance of the HR20. (Imagine if you will a guy who talked his wife into D* for HD and yet the HR20 won't record her shows like their old cable DVR did. And he has no idea what's wrong. Low WAF at his house and soon he is back with cable.)

2) How long until analysts get a whiff of HR20 problem and issue negative opinions. D* can say what it wants, but IMHO D* was pressured by analysts and reporters into releasing the HR20 before engineering was ready.

3A) How long will D* management allow the problems to continue? We know the R15 has been out a year and still has issues. (Code base, smode base. It doesn't matter if they are different engines, if they can't fix a Ford, what makes anyone think they can fix a Jaguar?)

3B) Or is D* management so fixated on doing this in-house that they will let 100k's of high-end customers either leave or never sign up and will ride the ship to the bottom. (Not meant to imply anything about TiVo, but more of a general question about how long they ride the horse until making any change.)

4) How long to you think it will take D* to get it as reliable as a TiVo with at least OTA functionality. 3 months, 6 months, 1 year? Do they in fact have the expertise to do it at all? (This is not really a question about features, but more about core DVR functionality, ie. record and playback what it is asked to without partials, deletions, black screens etc.)

Just some food for thought.
 

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My frustration is building, I called them and told them that I would be willing to give them a couple of months to get things working if not I wanted out of the contract. They agreed with me about the problems with the HR20 and said that was fair. D* has lost a lot of goodwill with me, I use to be very happy with them and since I had a full home theater and have been into HDTV for years, I have recommended them to friends and acquaintances. If over the years I have not had so much time, effort, and equipment tied into D* I would of dropped them by now based on the total experience of purchasing, installing and operating the HR20. It is more the time and effort to deal with another provider, learn their system and integrate it into my AV distribution system is what is holding me back from dropping D* right now. If they can get their act together and get this damn thing stable, the can start rebuilding credibility and goodwill with me again. Right now I would recommend D* and the HR20 only to someone who I thought needed some abuse in their life, this goes all the way from dealing with Ironwood to the HR20 problems.
 

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btmoore said:
My frustration is building, I called them and told them that I would be willing to give them a couple of months to get things working if not I wanted out of the contract. They agreed with me about the problems with the HR20 and said that was fair. D* has lost a lot of goodwill with me, I use to be very happy with them and since I had a full home theater and have been into HDTV for years, I have recommended them to friends and acquaintances. If over the years I have not had so much time, effort, and equipment tied into D* I would of dropped them by now based on the total experience of purchasing, installing and operating the HR20. It is more the time and effort to deal with another provider, learn their system and integrate it into my AV distribution system is what is holding me back from dropping D* right now. If they can get their act together and get this damn thing stable, the can start rebuilding credibility and goodwill with me again. Right now I would recommend D* and the HR20 only to someone who I thought needed some abuse in their life, this goes all the way from dealing with Ironwood to the HR20 problems.
I think when Fios is widespread DTV is screwed. Dropping Tivo was the worst business decision since Enron. Now if they could have replaced TIVO with something that was better it might be a different story. I really want to be able to schedule my recordings via the internet at work. I don't think DTV could ever get that right so I will end up with Fios and Tivo when I can get it.
 

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My trite, comical answer is "Until NFL Sunday Ticket is done."

Each of us will have our own point of no return based on many factors. I still have my hr10-250s so I am not missing anything today. I paid an embarrassing little for the HR20s I have. And my customer service has been fairly good. Yeah, I get the occasional CSR who knows nothing, but then I call back.

So, my patience is still high. Naively high, I admit. But when the new sats. launch or more importantly when the new HD chans launch and I can't get them with my HR10s, if the HR20 isn't stable, my frustrations will go very high, very quickly.

On the other hand, there are people without any HD locals capabilities. I empathize with them. I remember spending big $$ on my HD equipment only to find the NFL wasn't in HD yet, only one or two shows on each network was HD (and ones I didn't watch anyway), and otherwise the world was very devoid of content. Major bummer.

Things are getting better. Fast enough? The market will tell and this year, the year of HDTV, the market will tell very soon. The analysts will smell who the winners are. Some of the best already know.

Cheers,
Tom
 

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skierbri10 said:
I think when Fios is widespread DTV is screwed.
Too bad that will be in 2015. No one will be screwed at all in that timeframe :D

For those of us without any HR20 problems (most folks), we have already enjoyed the HR20 just fine for months, thank you, and we have no reason to complain. :)

It is truly unfortunate that some people are having problems. There's also plenty of evidence that in some cases, their pain may be self inflicted, whether its poor environments (cables, connectors, power sources, switches, non-compliant HDMI), lack of seriously diagnosing the real sources of their problems (which is not the HR20 itself in every case), and other such situations.

That's not to disgard that some have legitimate "issues" with their specific unit, but the redundant complaints from a minority of users that all have the same firmware version and hardware that we do - perhaps the effort to look elsewhere for potential sources of the problem might be well worth the time, as opposed to simply expecting a quick fix or complaining in 72 posts about it over and over.

Examples: I previously reported of 1 person I know who was convinced their HR20 was totally bad, only to find out they had a bad remote causing all the "controls of the box to act up". I have since helped another diagnose a bad pair of connector ends that resulted in the famed "bad signal error message", only to have the problem disappear entirely upon getting new connectors installed. In both cases, they have now been problem free for over 6 weeks. I have been problem free on 2 HR20's for almost 3 months. That's not to say this is everyone's solution, but I'd be willing to bet that few people have made the effort to eliminate other potential sources of their problems.

The reality is that no matter what D*TV does, they cannot replicate everyone's exact hardware, cabling, and other features of their particular installation environment. That's true of any sophisticated electronics.

If you had 100 PCs in different physical locations - all the exact same units with the exact same version of Windows running on them, and 5 of them had significant problems, it would seem to be common sense to first look at what was different at the 5 locations, rather than focus just on the boxes themselves. That happens to be the way the PC industry does their support - and it works.

No doubt some people here just plain and simple have a bad HR20 box - but those are few and far between - those people should just make 1 call, report the issue, and get a replacement. If that doesn't work, who can blame them for going somewhere else for their HD / DVR services.

In the mean time, perhaps we can start to pool our information better from those who have done the checks and found other sources of problems (such as the 2 examples I shared above), so that they can share that valuable information to help others. Add this effort to D*TV's efforts on their firmware side, and progress will be accelerated. It would be great to have everyone enjoy their HR20 as much as those of us without problems have done for some time. Best wishes.
 

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theratpatrol said:
So how hard would it be for them to go back to Tivo? Could they download the Tivo software onto the HR20's, or would they have to make a whole new box?
Very difficult...

To get an idea.. Comcast and TiVo announced their partnership, 2.5+ years ago. They still don't have it out yet, and most recent "posts" have it possible not comming till April 2007...

They where basically doing what you suggested above, take the TiVo code and "stuff" it into an existing piece of hardware.
 

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Earl Bonovich said:
Comcast and TiVo announced their partnership, 2.5+ years ago. They still don't have it out yet, and most recent "posts" have it possible not comming till April 2007...
Oh my goodness, where are the 10,000 posts saying how horrible ComCrap is with their delays and slow deployment......:rolleyes:
 

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I'm not bashing TIVO, but they got there own problems if you look at TCF. 6.3 came out and all kinds of people are complaining. I don't know alot about the D* and TIVO relationship, but wouldn't most of problems be from upgrading the software (3.xx to 6.3) and not the HR10-250 and D*. People screaming for 6.3 for the HR10 got what they asked for. The new S# has it's problems has well. Like fan0001 said, it can't all be simply the HR20.

I guess my point is people need to be careful what they wish for. D* and TIVO getting back in the sack together would just generate a whole new set of issues.
People have to accept the fact that this is what happens when your on the bleeding edge of technology.

I'm not looking to get flamed. The HR20 certainly has some issues that need to be worked out.
 

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hdtvfan0001 said:
Too bad that will be in 2015. No one will be screwed at all in that timeframe :D

For those of us without any HR20 problems (most folks), we have already enjoyed the HR20 just fine for months, thank you, and we have no reason to complain. :)

It is truly unfortunate that some people are having problems. There's also plenty of evidence that in some cases, their pain may be self inflicted, whether its poor environments (cables, connectors, power sources, switches, non-compliant HDMI), lack of seriously diagnosing the real sources of their problems (which is not the HR20 itself in every case), and other such situations.

That's not to disgard that some have legitimate "issues" with their specific unit, but the redundant complaints from a minority of users that all have the same firmware version and hardware that we do - perhaps the effort to look elsewhere for potential sources of the problem might be well worth the time, as opposed to simply expecting a quick fix or complaining in 72 posts about it over and over.

Examples: I previously reported of 1 person I know who was convinced their HR20 was totally bad, only to find out they had a bad remote causing all the "controls of the box to act up". I have since helped another diagnose a bad pair of connector ends that resulted in the famed "bad signal error message", only to have the problem disappear entirely upon getting new connectors installed. In both cases, they have now been problem free for over 6 weeks. I have been problem free on 2 HR20's for almost 3 months. That's not to say this is everyone's solution, but I'd be willing to bet that few people have made the effort to eliminate other potential sources of their problems.

The reality is that no matter what D*TV does, they cannot replicate everyone's exact hardware, cabling, and other features of their particular installation environment. That's true of any sophisticated electronics.

If you had 100 PCs in different physical locations - all the exact same units with the exact same version of Windows running on them, and 5 of them had significant problems, it would seem to be common sense to first look at what was different at the 5 locations, rather than focus just on the boxes themselves. That happens to be the way the PC industry does their support - and it works.

No doubt some people here just plain and simple have a bad HR20 box - but those are few and far between - those people should just make 1 call, report the issue, and get a replacement. If that doesn't work, who can blame them for going somewhere else for their HD / DVR services.

In the mean time, perhaps we can start to pool our information better from those who have done the checks and found other sources of problems (such as the 2 examples I shared above), so that they can share that valuable information to help others. Add this effort to D*TV's efforts on their firmware side, and progress will be accelerated. It would be great to have everyone enjoy their HR20 as much as those of us without problems have done for some time. Best wishes.
I agree 100%. I know of a case where an individial rebooted, changed out HDMI
and rewired the switch, only to find out that the local station he couldn't get was off the air.
 

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I am not happy with the OTA announcement but I have workarounds to record my OTA stuff. I also have MPEG4 locals so fully covered there. I have 2 HD Tivos doing the bulk recording and I really havent had any issues with my HR20. But I cant imagine having an uninformed person get this unit, not read the online forums and run into issues and not be able to use OTA. I knew not to put all my eggs in the basket with this unit but I cant imagine having this unit as my primary and only unit and dealing with the stuff. My wife is going to take the HD Tivo to the grave. I dont think anyone would say that about the HR20.
 

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Herdfan said:
With the possible delay of OTA activation along with bi-weekly updates and still many reported problems leads me to ask the following:

1) How long does D* have to get this box right before it really starts to cost them subs. I am not talking about one or two members here leaving for cable, but a measurable number of subs who never visit forums such as this drop D* due to the performance of the HR20. (Imagine if you will a guy who talked his wife into D* for HD and yet the HR20 won't record her shows like their old cable DVR did. And he has no idea what's wrong. Low WAF at his house and soon he is back with cable.)

2) How long until analysts get a whiff of HR20 problem and issue negative opinions. D* can say what it wants, but IMHO D* was pressured by analysts and reporters into releasing the HR20 before engineering was ready.

3A) How long will D* management allow the problems to continue? We know the R15 has been out a year and still has issues. (Code base, smode base. It doesn't matter if they are different engines, if they can't fix a Ford, what makes anyone think they can fix a Jaguar?)

3B) Or is D* management so fixated on doing this in-house that they will let 100k's of high-end customers either leave or never sign up and will ride the ship to the bottom. (Not meant to imply anything about TiVo, but more of a general question about how long they ride the horse until making any change.)

4) How long to you think it will take D* to get it as reliable as a TiVo with at least OTA functionality. 3 months, 6 months, 1 year? Do they in fact have the expertise to do it at all? (This is not really a question about features, but more about core DVR functionality, ie. record and playback what it is asked to without partials, deletions, black screens etc.)

Just some food for thought.
Well said. I'm bailing precisely because I had no reasonable explanation for my wife of: why our beloved HR10 was crashed by the 6.3a download (it had two disks, which had always been supported previously); why the she lost OTA on the new HR20; and why it won't reliably record her programs or a PPV. We move to cable December 9th. The worst complaints I could find on the TW DVR (we have a local HD Forum) were small stuff compared to the HR20.
 

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If by January I cannot use this box as my primary DVR, I will ask D* for some sort of redress. I think 3 months is long enough to work things out, and that's how long I will have had the box.

I think this is a generally good DVR if they can make it work consistantly and get CC to work.

If they cannot, it might as well be a paperweight.

Who would keep a car that gets them to work only SOME days?
 

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RJC49 said:
I agree 100%. I know of a case where an individial rebooted, changed out HDMI
and rewired the switch, only to find out that the local station he couldn't get was off the air.
HDTVsportsfan said:
That's pretty funny.
Actually, its funny, sad, and true - all at the same time.

It's also more common than some people are ever willing to admit.
 

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The HR20 is my first DVR. I've never owned a Tivo unit before. From my point of view, the HR20 has been great. I have not had what I would call any real problems. It's recorded everything I've asked it to. It's played back fine. Any SW downloads have only improved things for me.

It's been quite stable. I wish I had OTA mainly for the sub-channels and others not being broadcast through the satellite, but I'm patient.

I understand the frustration if you are having issues, but I haven't found anything major that would make me throw the box off a tall building or anything.

What am I missing here?
 

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cawgijoe said:
I understand the frustration if you are having issues, but I haven't found anything major that would make me throw the box off a tall building or anything.

What am I missing here?
Well, some people's issues are pretty bad. Mine have been minor, but annoying:

Picture blacks out when all white.
Minor lock ups reboots
No OTA in an area where I don't have HD LiLs

And one major issue:

Closed Captioning does not yet work properly.

Mostly, I will say that the HR20 is on its way to being a superior DVR to my HR10. I just want it to get there. :)

But if closed captioning isn't working by January, I'm going to seriously complain to D*. This is one that shouldn't have gone out without working perfectly, and it's not an issue that works differently on each TV. They knew CC was broken when they sent it out--they didn't care. :(
 

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Capmeister said:
If by January I cannot use this box as my primary DVR, I will ask D* for some sort of redress. I think 3 months is long enough to work things out, and that's how long I will have had the box.

I think this is a generally good DVR if they can make it work consistantly and get CC to work.

If they cannot, it might as well be a paperweight.

Who would keep a car that gets them to work only SOME days?
That sounds about right. Our HR20 is still the secondary DVR in the house (wife uses R10s, I use HR20 for sports, poker, etc.). We do record 1-2 shows (Ugly Betty, Dexter) on the HR20, and Letterman every night. The split DVR scenario is the ONLY way to keep the peace in our home. And our HR20 is actually working (It didn't always work. I really keep it simple, 4 SLs, recording from guide only. We do get variable sound and video dropouts, and some pixelation, another issue, I believe, but enough to annoy my family). It will be a fine day if and when D* resolves these reliability issues for 99.9 percent of subs. By mid-year next year, FIOS will be a viable alternative here in Philadelphia, so it might be worth a look if D* can't deliver a solid HD DVR at that juncture.
 

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I've got several SL backing up my HR10. There have been minor glitches but I've yet to miss a show's recording.

I'm pleased with the changes to FFx4 and 30 second slip.

If they give me OTA, fix captioning, and my all-white blackout problem, I want 2 or 3 more of these boxes. :)
 

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Think OTA being delayed a month or so is not as big a potential hit to the stock price as is the publicity of the eratic performance of the device. I was hoping for OTA as well, but also have it fed directly to my TV as a work around. D* is advertising HEAVILY about how good their HD is, how it is much better than cable--that MPEG4 isn't HDLite-. So I think you will see a very aggressive (finally) approach to clean up remaining MPEG4 and the recording issues. They really have no choice.
 
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